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Ampolex Seeks Higher Price From Mobil

February 15, 1996

SYDNEY, Australia (AP) _ Ampolex Ltd. signaled Thursday it would try to squeeze a higher price out of Mobil Corp. and the U.S. oil company announced it had secured 14.89 percent of its target.

The Ampolex board described Wednesday’s unsolicited $900 million offer as ``currently deficient.″ Campbell Anderson, Ampolex chairman, said in an announcement to the stock exchange that the offer did not recognize long term strategic value.

But analysts doubted another bidder would emerge and speculated that big institutional investors might be willing to take the Mobil bid, which is 34 percent higher than Ampolex’s recent trading price.

Ampolex stock finished at 4.18 Australian dollars per share Thursday and matched the Mobil bid of 4.25 Australian dollars at its highest level early in the session.

``The view here is that there is not likely to be another bidder,″ said Stewart Brentnall, head of equities at Schroders Investment Management (Australasia) Ltd.

Mobil’s 14.89 percent stake brings it near the 15 percent threshold that would trigger scrutiny of the Foreign Investment Review Board, which would have to give its approval to proceed with the takeover.

The Ampolex board, which met Wednesday night by telephone and again Thursday morning, later advised shareholders to take no action for now.

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